I interviewed Alex Breton who is the owner of Utah EMT Academy. He started his this program a few years ago. As a result, he has had to take several financial risks in the process of opening a successful school. It was interesting to hear about the expenses of someone purchasing medical supplies outside of a hospital setting.
ur company goes over budget?
Education supplies. In order to develop skills, we have the need to purchase medical supplies, stretchers, CPR dummies, etc. Many of these products are expensive. Even things like bandages and IVs get expensive when paying for products in bulk out of pocket.
2. What have you noticed works most effectively in cutting costs of these problem areas?
I try to reuse supplies when I can as long as it is safe. If bandages, gauze, slings, etc are just being used for practice many of these can be used multiple times. I try to give students a pack of supplies when class starts and I encourage them to keep this stuff in good condition so they can practice with it over and over. I also take very good care of CPR mannequins, IV arms, and supplies like that since they are expensive to replace.
3. Have you ever had to lay people off as a result of consistently going over budget?
4. Do you find it beneficial to keep employees aware of budgeting concerns?
Yes. I have a fairly small roster of employees, so all of them are pretty involved in most aspects of the school program.
5. Are there certain categories of your budget that seem to be unpredictable? (patterns of being over then under budget?)
There have been a few big purchases that I have made the decision to spend money on. In general my expenses right now are fairly predictable. There is a price to pay for a growing program though.
6. How often do you spend time looking over the budget?
At least once a week. I spend more time looking over the budget before a new class starts.
7. Do you ever include staff or other leaders in budget discussions?
Yes. If I am trying to make a decision in regards to spending money on educational material, I value the input of my employees. We work as a group to decide what would be most beneficial for the students.
8. Do you have any tools or programs you use to stay on budget?
I do have a budgeting program that I use to keep track of expenses and profit.
9. What concerns you more, keeping the month to month budget or the year to date budget?
Right now, a month to month budget is more important to me. Because the school is only a couple years old, we are still going through a lot of growth and changes. As a result, the year to date budgets would be kind of inconsistent. In the future, as less change is occurring, I’m sure I will be more concerned with year to date budgets.
10. What has been your greatest success in keeping budget? What is a time when you erred in keeping budget?
Starting a program like this is a big financial risk. I had to put a lot of money into opening my own EMT school. So far it has worked out okay for me, but there have been ups and downs financially as I got this business going.